Game preview: Tropics hope to break losing skid with home game vs. Kansas City

by Brian Ackley

LAKELAND – The Florida Tropics SC will look to break a three-game losing streak Saturday night when they host the Kansas City Comets at the Lakeland Center. Kickoff is slated for 7:05 p.m.

Two of the three losses during the streak have come against the defending league champion Baltimore Blast, and three of Florida's five overall losses have come against the Blast this season. That includes last Saturday's 7-0 setback, which came on the heels of an 8-6 loss at St. Louis on Friday, Dec. 9.

Florida (2-5) led in that one at intermission, 5-2, but surrendered five straight second-half goals in allowing the Ambush to win its first game of the season. Freddy Moojen, who was part of the Ambush offensive attack in 2015-16, had a big night, with two goals and two assists, the team's best single game effort this year.

For the season, Moojen is the team's offensive leader along with Ricardo Diegues, as each has eight points. Moojen has four goals and four assists, while Diegues leads the team with five goals to go along with three assists..

Kansas City is paced by Leo Gibson, with seven goals and 12 assists for 19  points, as the Comets have gotten off to a 4-3 start. The Comets did not get back to Kansas City until  4 a.m. Sunday morning for their most recent game last Sunday afternoon because of a Midwestern snow storm, but still defeated Baltimore, 5-1. The night previous, on the road in Cedar Rapids, the Comets fell to the Rampage, 8-7.

Comets netminder Stephen Paterson was the MASL Player of the Week two weeks ago when he posted the leagues' first shutout in a 5-0 win over the at the time undefeated Chicago Mustangs. He has a goals against average of 3.60. Florida has a goal differential on the year of minus-18 while Kansas City is plus-20.  Paterson is ranked third in goals against average in the MASL so far in 2016-17 at 3.90.

Tickets for the game are available online at, or by calling 863-333-5353. All Tropics games home and away are also broadcast live on via YouTube. The broadcasts are also easily accessible at the team's website.